What most of you didn't know was that shortly before Spencer was scheduled to speak, a member of the UF music faculty went to the top of Century Tower, the brick bell tower that I walked past hundreds if not thousands of times, and played "Lift Every Voice and Sing" on the carillon. For those not in the know, that song is the NAACP's anthem and was often sung during the civil rights marches in the '60s.
The UF posted video on its Twitter feed: shots of Century Tower from several points I'd walked through, audio of the song. I watched it from work and bawled.
Oh by the way, I'm told the UF audience and protesters did a fine job of making Spencer and his little band, about two dozen supporters in all, look like the assholes they are. Three of those two dozen were arrested for attempted murder in Alachua, FL, not far from Gainesville, where the UF is.
Says Mom, the reason Spencer was allowed there in the first place was spinelessness on the part of the UF's board of directors, not its president.
How dare they? How dares any of them?
Anyway, since she's so unhappy in her life, she decides to run away and find the land of the fairies, and her loyal friend goes with her. They rescue the girl who was stolen to be a servant to the fairies, and take her home to her parents, and then...I think she and her friend continue traveling, since they don't really fit in anywhere, except with each other.
Based on other books I was reading at the time, and what I remember of the physical book, I think the book I'm looking for would have been published somewhere between the 1940s and 60s, maybe 70s.
The top was pretty easy to cut, the sides were only tricky in that I had to match the reverse slant of the concrete, then use a backsaw and chisel to cut in the sill at its eight degree slope. Fitting the bottom was kinda awful. I'd misjudged my eight degrees, that was too much, so I had to plane off a large quantity of the front bottom edge of the sill to clear the concrete, and that left me with a horrible sliding block puzzle: the concrete tilts downwards so the side boards have to be put in place by tilting them in, but the sill won't slide into its slot because there's concrete in the way. If it were all assembled in place it would be perfect, but there's no way to get it assembled in place.
So I chiseled one slot wider, with a bevel, so I could load in one side piece, the sill, then put the other side piece diagonally into the window, raise that side of the sill, get it into the slot in the side piece, then push the side piece into place, and finally jam in the top piece like a keystone.
And after all that, once everything was in place the window wouldn't open because it hit the back edge of the sill, as the sill was touching the concrete and slightly bowed upwards.
I got to undo everything and hand-scrape the sill to fit. This is a technique I learned from gfish and Neuro. Usually it's done to make a dead flat surface, but I used a variant to match two surfaces. I scrubbed the sill back and forth on the concrete, flipped it over, and chiseled out anything that had been marked by the concrete, then put it back in and scrubbed it again. After about 20 iterations of that, I have something that's flat, well-supported by the concrete (as it touches in about 15 spots), and clears the window.
Now it needs to be painted and have some silicone caulk applied.
Wood shavings everywhere:
I mostly used my Stanley #4 plane, aka the Stanley Sweetheart, and that damned vorpal wood chisel from the 1880's that wants to draw blood every time I get near it. It does an amazing job in redwood, let me tell you what. But I did have a chance to use my Stanley #8, a plane that is quite a bit longer than my forearm/hand. It removes a *lot* of wood per pass, a strip 35mm wide that is painfully hot when it comes off the blade, and the reason I rarely use it is that I'm not strong enough to use it to its full capability. It requires more power than I can provide.
But at least it's done.
Oh: somebody brought a VR setup to the upstairs. Not bad. I remember how cheesy the first generation headsets were. Display & processor technologies have finally caught up to the demand.
Gotta start icing that tendonitis in my left elbow. Ow.
*Water-resistant messenger bag FTW!
**Yes, all caps.
She took me to Shiro's, which as I've said here before is expensive and sublime sushi in Belltown. She turned me onto it, and it's a joint favorite. Gosh, I would have settled for something way cheaper, but damn, you should have first-rate sushi at least once in your life.
Thence to the Wildrose for a few beers and ogling other women where they can reasonably expect to be ogled by other women, and who may in turn be ogling other women. Fun fact: one of the Siberian Siren's exes was working the door, because how many dykes in Seattle can there possibly be? Funny Lady & I lamented the difficulty of getting the queer wimmins we know through the door. The 'Rose is the quietest, most mellow place on the Hil, and I've had one (1) small issue there which the management rectified PDQ. Funny Lady hasn't had any that I know of, and she's fabulously femme and therefore likely to be taken for straight.
Are we especially thick-skinned as dykes go? Sure, you'd expect that from me because I'm used to getting funny looks and determined to make up for lost time. But Funny Lady, the southern belle? Then again, FL's a woman of the world, having lived several years each in Paris and New York.
Then Lost Lake, which I'd somehow managed never to go into despite walking past many, many times. Finally, all-night eats that aren't terrible! I asked FL how she'd explain tater tots to the French, so she explained them in French; that's why she's Funny Lady. I ate way too many tater tots.
Deuce of Gears
A cog in the machine. Pawn of powers beyond your control.
(Yes, Jedao was being snarkastic when he chose it for his emblem.)
Also, I love my catten but...she's not very bright? She likes to sit on the ping pong table and will remain sprawled on it when the Dragon and I start up a game. The ball hits her in the leg, she remains sprawled. It took the next ball hitting her in the snout for her to skitter-kitter off the table. *facepalm*
That's not the part where she's not very bright. The part where she's not very bright is that she was on the ping pong table during a game yesterday and got hit in the snout by a ball then, causing her to skitter-kitter off the table. You would think she'd figure out that ping pong game in progress = don't sprawl on the table waiting to be hit in the snout?
Back to work...
It's funny--I adore this show but declined to request it for Yuletide. Besides it being a highly jossable canon, what I really want is bona fide philosophy neepery, and I'm pretty sure 99% of the fandom wants to write about relationships. There's plenty of shipfic I would read for this fandom, but I really really want philosophy neepery. And, I mean, 2.5 was basically my Platonic ideal in terms of episode content.
Today has been an interesting mix of moments of satisfaction and panic, with occasional flurries of competence, and ending on a sharp spike of exasperated rage that left me with a faint aching need to hit something, except I'm too tired.
And the hound puppy down the hall is singing the song of his doleful people. I hear you, little one, I hear you. Now hush. Your people will be home soon.
Weekend at the Tasting Room, and it's club release weekend, so I expect to be busy (hope so, anyway!). Busy is always better than not-busy, unless not-busy brings with it a nap....
But first: Learning Elixir for work. So far so good. Slightly weird syntax in places, but not verbose and not an egregious violator of the sadly underrated Principle of Least Astonishment.
You know those spectacular bruises I picked up at the Folsom Street Fair, or more precisely, the Friday night before? The last of the deep purple and yellow disappeared early this week, but most of the large original area of the bruises is still faintly lavender. I've never seen anything quite like it on myself or anyone else. I can't help but wonder if it's ever going away, because it's been four weeks now.
(I'm Texan. I grew up on country, okay? ^_^)
Feel free to link to Youtube versions of songs that make you happy! I expect yours are less mushy than mine. ^_^
Grandparent - Council Suit
I am the One who rejoices in the company of the child of my own child. I am a mentor and a teacher, a parental figure and a friend all in one. Spending time with my grandchild reintroduces me to joys which may have slipped from my own life. Our bond tightens the generations together.
Fear - Committee/Council Suit
I am the One who freezes in primal terror, trapped between the horror ahead and the threat behind.
This one is a lot about the truly difficult times I was having when I was unemployed and Rob was failing. I really don't want to go back to this mental state.
The Magical Child - Council Suit
I am the One whose holy, mystical innocence will save the world.
The Mythopoeic Reader - Committee/Fairytale Suit
I am the One who delights in reading stories of adventure in fantastic imaginary worlds.
It is a response to Lovecraft, but Kirkus describes it as "essentially a story about identity, found families, wrapped in a cozy mystery. With magic. And monsters. Except the monsters are not exactly who you expect them to be."
• What are you reading?
Notes from a Feminist Killjoy, by Erin Wunker. It's a bits-and-pieces book, but all the bits are in conversation with other writers, and with reality; even its bittyness recalls how Tillie Olsen would carry a sentence in her mind, polishing it in scraps of time between interruptions, through a day of women's work, a day of no peace, no privacy, no silence, no solitude.
When I started this book, I wanted to write something unimpeachable. Something so clear and objective, it could be a little dictionary or translation phrase book for how to speak a feminist language and live a feminist life. I wanted what many other writers -- the many-gendered mothers of my heart -- had already written. I wanted A Room of One's Own, Sister Outsider, Willful Subjects, Islands of Decolonial Love. I wanted Feminism is for Everybody and The Dream of a Common Language. I wanted No Language is Neutral.
I wanted books that had already been written by people whose experiences of moving through the world are different -- often radically so -- from mine.
I got stuck.
I read some more.
I remembered that I tell my students that reading and writing are attempts at joining conversations, making new ones, and, sometimes, shifting the direction of discourse.
I sat down at my typewriter again.
• What did you recently finish reading?
George & Lizzie, by Nancy Pearl.
Lizzie agreed. "I remember reading a novel in which one of the characters, a college professor, was writing a book on the influence of Emily Dickinson on Shakespeare and how his colleagues always misheard it and thought it was the other way around. I wish I could remember the title, because talking about it now makes me want to read it again. It's so interesting to think about. Do you think we read Shakespeare differently because of Dickinson's poems?"
I remember reading that too! It was by David Lodge, I think Changing Places? I read it about the same age Lizzie did. Not at the same time: I'm maybe ten years older than Lizzie. But, like Lizzie, I grew up in Michigan and went to UM and struggled with depression most of my life and, as a young woman, tried to claim my sexuality in ways that were bad for me and for the people I interacted with. Lizzie feels real to me, is what I'm saying, and I'm okay with the fact that the people around her are kind of one-note because the problem this book is about is: if you can't stop being sad about your shitty childhood even though your life is no longer shitty, if you can't stop punishing yourself for bad choices that you made long ago, if you can't stop trying to change something that happened long ago and wasn't in your control even then. . . then how do you stop?
[Lizzie says] "They're your thoughts, right? How can you not think them?"
Marla struggled to answer. "I don't know, but people do it. I think I let go of things, or at least try to. You have to, really, otherwise you're weighted down with all those cumulative bad memories. James and I used to talk about that baby missing from our lives, whether it was a boy or a girl, whether we could find out who adopted it, whether we'd ever forgive our parents, why we didn't just say 'Screw you' to them back then and get married after I got pregnant. I mean, you know, it was so present. It was always there in our lives. But if we kept that up there'd be no place for anything else. And now we just acknowledge all that awful stuff happened, that maybe we made the wrong decision, that we were just kids. We were just kids. You have to forgive yourself eventually, right?"
Lizzie's husband George got famous by explaining that, while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, but his explanation doesn't work for Lizzie. George doesn't seem to understand that, for some people, that's liberating, but for others, it says that your suffering was your choice and therefore your fault. I'd offer Lizzie Season of Mists, because "you don't have to stay anywhere forever" worked for me, but how a story works depends as much on the reader as on the story.
Which is not to say that we shouldn't do our best to write good stories. This one has a stupid editing oversight that dumped me right out:
[Marla:]"I love you Lizzie, and always will. And I will always, always, keep your secrets. But this, what this means to you and George, is an important secret. It's not the equivalent of a little white lie. It'd be like me not telling James about the abortion."
[Lizzie:]"But James knew about the abortion, he was with you when you had it."
"Don't be deliberately naive, it doesn't become you. You know what I mean: some other James I was involved with."
What abortion, I wondered? Was there an abortion as well as a baby given up for adoption? When?
No, it must have been changed from an abortion to an adoption at some point. Which was a good change: it's believable that Marla would find it harder to move on with her life after carrying the baby for nine months, while knowing that there was a person out there that she felt responsible for but had no ability to protect. But leaving evidence of the change in the story made me notice how flat all the other characters are, how they are the way they are in order to serve Lizzie's story.
• What do you think you’ll read next?
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, by H.P. Lovecraft.
I've mentioned this before: the UF campus was my second home growing up. It was my happy place to be a nerdy closet trans girl. And now it's being defiled by chickenshit, broken-headed racists. I hope Gainesville gives them hell.
My father, who was a professor at UF and death on racism, is turning in his grave.